Digital Detoxing


Do you need to step away from email or give your smartphone a rest from time to time? Cellphones, computers, tablets. All of these are important tools. But technology can seep into every moment of your life and take over. Digital detoxing is becoming increasingly popular as a response to tech overload. Discover the benefits of setting limits around technology and strategies for doing so, from St. Louis, Brentwood, and Clayton, MO personal trainers.

Benefits of Tech Breaks

Face it: Technology can be distracting. We need to take tech breaks for health and productivity reasons. Many people are stressed, overwhelmed by information overload, and struggling with demands to be constantly connected. We need to achieve a better balance.

Physical benefits. Breaks from technology are good for your body. Take regular breaks to help avoid some of the chronic musculoskeletal changes that can accompany the types of postures and body positions associated with using PC computers, smartphones and handheld computer devices.

• Mental benefits. Taking time away from technology can bring joy and purpose. Tech breaks help you stay focused on what you want to do instead of what the world thinks you should be doing. You will be a better friend, family member and partner without technology because you can focus on the people you love without interruptions.

So how do you break free from your tech devices? Consider these ideas:

• Turn off alerts. Turning off new email and text alerts can help keep you on track with not checking email/phones all the time. Separate home and work technology. Try having separate phones for work and personal use and turning off your work phone at the close of business each day. Likewise, try creating different email accounts for work and personal correspondence and limiting the number of times you check email.

• Set limits and put important tasks first. Try avoiding technology until you get the important tasks done in the morning. “It will be amazing how much you can get done when you are addressing important tasks instead of urgent ones that ‘seem important.

• Eschew tech at night. Sleep is soooo important! Try putting your cell phone away from your bedroom at night. Having the phone where you can’t hear it is a way to get some downtime. No call or text is important enough for you to answer late at night. Check messages first thing in the morning instead.

No Tech Sunday

You can also deliberately avoid technology for a set period of time, such as an entire day. Some people are finding that saying no to digital devices every Sunday helps them find work-life balance.

For example, last year Carol Crincoli, owner of Pure Pilates in Providence, New Jersey, started unplugging on Sundays. “My husband and I needed [to set] some boundaries [for] the time we spend on our careers,” she explains. “When text and emails come through our phones, we feel compelled to respond, and sometimes we get consumed by the messages. We try to limit responses on Saturdays and now do nothing on Sundays.”

Gina Howe, co-owner of Core Essentials Fitness in Lewis Center, Ohio, also unplugs on Sundays. “Sundays are my only day off,” she says. “I prioritize that as family day. I also prep foods on Sundays, which is essential for me due to my crazy weekday schedule. A tech-free Sunday helps me step away so I don’t risk burnout as much, which makes me better at what I do.”

For more information on digital detoxing, contact Maurie Cofman, CMES, CES, TBMM-CES, Personal Trainer, Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Health Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist in the St. Louis, Brentwood, and Clayton, MO area.